One of Germany’s most notable footballers has announced his retirement following the COVID-19 Pandemic & an increased period of vacationing with his family. This individual is Benedikt Höwedes of Schalke FC. He’d infamously compete for Germany’s National Football Team, being a dominating force in acquiring his home nation the “2014 FIFA World Cup” in Brazil. His career sustained thirteen years for announcing his public retirement through social media, ending a reign that won’t be forgotten by German football enthusiasts for decades to come.
Benedikt Höwedes competed with Schalke FC in 330 Official Season games before ending his decade-long run with this outfit. Höwedes left his home football club for Juventus FC for the 2017-18 Season under the loan, inevitably being sold to Lokomotiv Moscow is Russia for two consecutive seasons. After considerable delegations with his Russian football Club, Höwedes obtained permission to be released from his contract in June 2020.
The Defender spent July 2020 with his Son & Wife in the South of France, the three of them sharing a Camper Van. He’d notice the evident happiness his son had when sitting next to him throughout their prolonged vacation, prompting Höwedes to feel Professional Football is unimportant. Speaking with BBC Sports over a video conference, Benedikt Höwedes remarked that his son is nearly turning two & that his time within Moscow wasn’t remotely enjoyed. Benedikt would even say that his time with Lokomotiv brought suffering onto his life.
Benedikt Höwedes criticized Lokomotiv Moscow for their brutal development & training mentalities, which treat players more like robotic slaves than professional footballers. He’d also emphasized that international football is regularly moving away from the fans after COVID-19 and will find themselves without supporters if the line they tread isn’t walked carefully.
The History of Benedikt Höwedes
Benedikt Höwedes will be sorely missed in Germany, with his time as Schalke Captain being influential. He’d lead the Schalke’s towards victory throughout six sevens, while also working under the Germany National Football Team. His ferocity on the field allowed for Benedikt Höwedes to become one of three footballers to compete in every minute of the FIFA World Cup for their respective team. He’s a Multi-Functional Player that thousands throughout Germany hope will one day return.
September 12th marks the day when the Premier League will begin their 2020-21 Season. This announcement was made on July 24th, shocking supports of the football competition. 2019-2020s Premier League Season ended on July 25th. It’ll be less than 45 days before supporters are given their next opportunity to watch notable teams, like champion-holders Liverpool. It’s known that their 2020-21 Regular Season will be maintained until May 23rd of next year. Afterwards, top teams will enter the Champions League.
An official statement clarified that they’re consulting the Football Association & English Football League to determine the scheduling of domestic competitions. It’s suspected that under pandemic protocols, international matches outside of Europe won’t be hosted until likely 2022 or later. Premier League Executives hope that similar issues that followed this year won’t repeat in 2021, including the postponement of seasonal events for three months because of COVID-19. It should be emphasized that even though the Premier League finished their yearly campaign on July 25th, Liverpool had acquired championship victory in late June.
Details on the Champions League & Europa League, two tournaments that dominate professional football, weren’t clarified. It’s standard for the Europa to follow a similar schedule to the Premier League, allowing for both their top teams to enter the Champions League.
The Europa Football League will find challenges with scheduling their 2020-21 Season, with the 2019-20 festivities still underway until the end of August. They’ll have anywhere from twelve to fifteen days to plan their full season to reach contention for the Champions League. To date, Europa’s Wolverhampton Wanderers are slated to battle Manchester City in August. Manchester City is hopeful of acquiring Championship status for 2019-20.
MLS Season Starting on August 22nd
Major League Soccer announced their return-to-play for the 2020-21 Season, which will be on August 22nd. All teams will compete in six matches until September 13th. Afterwards, the second slate of games with reduced teams would be maintained from September 16th to November 8th. Those that hold losing streaks from August 22nd to September 13th will be terminated from competing in the second stage. Once the 2nd stage, if complete, the top teams will compete in the MLS Championship. The prompt season is to ensure that the 2021-22 MLS Season can unfold in normal conditions.
Charlotte FC, Saint Louis SC, and Sacramento FC have been informed that their first season in Major League Soccer will be postponed. Those delays follow financial concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic, with MLS knowing that new organizations thrive off merchandise sales & high attendance volumes from the local population.
Starting these three teams before supporters are permitted to attend stadiums again would’ve destroyed any chances at initial profits. It’s known that Charlotte FC will obtain the shorted delay & arrive for the 2022 MLS Season. Saint Louis SC & Sacramento FC are receiving longer postponements until the 2023 MLS Season. This gives all three organizations ample time to resolve any fallout concerns associated with COVID-19.
MLS Analysts speculated that all expansion teams announced earlier this year wouldn’t be permitted to move forward. This would’ve meant the delay of Austin FC, which was avoided after notable progress was made weeks before coronavirus attacked America. Austin is being permitted to launch for the 2021 MLS Season.
The MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, released a formal statement to football supporters. He indicated that each football club must adhere to their inaugural MLS season in standards that aren’t possible during the coronavirus. Garber hopes that with added extensions, these cities & their club owners be provided ample time to position their inaugural debut.
Teams in Major League Soccer respectively played two games each before COVID-19 inflicted the United States. MLS postponed their operations on March 12, resuming on July 8 in the state of Florida. Since arriving in Florida, multiple footballers have contracted the virus & been separated from the rest of their team. It’s resulted in infection statuses to drop tenfold.
No Infections Since July 14
The MLS is Back Tournament confirmed that there hadn’t been a single recorded case of Coronavirus since July 14. Major League Soccer hopes the zero-infection status can continue onwards until the tournament is completed on August 11. Tournament hopefuls include the Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy, Atlanta United, and Toronto FC. Whoever obtained victory during this tournament will collect a $1 million prize & trophy. All points earned also transfer over to the regular season, with this applying for all teams in the tournament.
The United States of America has become the highest-infected nation with COVID19. Lack of knowledge regarding this virus has prompted millions in America to avoid wearing masks & social distance, which was proven throughout the George Floyd Riots. States like Florida are experiencing an influx of infections, with the new standard being 4000 per day. The virus is affecting all aspects of this state’s economy & operational sporting associations at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Disneyland are beginning to feel these effects.
Major League Soccer is defying medical evidence and risking the lives of their footballers to move forward with the “MLS is Back Tournament”. Two teams have left the tournament after experiencing a high volume of infections, with matches now being regularly postponed to account for delayed testing in Florida. Another tournament event with Toronto FC & DC United was delayed for a 2nd time, with the announcement being made by MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbot. His revelation was created five minutes before kickoff time for their planned match on July 12th. Fans of both sides expressed notable disappointment through social media platforms like Twitter & Instagram.
Explanations from MLS Deputy Commissioner
Mark Abbot clarified that Pre-Game Testing on July 11th saw a positive infection of COVID19. Another test came back inconclusive, with the positive test from DC United & inconclusive from TFC. Major League Soccer’s Deputy Commissioner couldn’t move forward without risking further infections. Mark Abbot learned this after not implementing similar tactics with Nashville SC & FC Dallas, who both exited the tournament after having a time-wide outbreak of coronavirus.
ESPN Reporters questioned Mark Abbot, requesting his thoughts on conducting the tournament safely from now on. The MLS Deputy Commissioner believes it’s still possible but emphasized that if conditions worsen, a decision will be made with the proper authorities. Mark Abbot suggests that there’ll be minimal chances of conditions worsening, with their established protocols being enforced 24/7. MLS will continue identifying new infections & separating them from the teams, then conducting another quick test. Once all players infected all removed to quarantined areas, planned matches can resume. Those confirmed with COVID19 will be provided proper treatment & admirable living quarters to ensure a smooth recovery.
Headlines in North America indicate that MLS Teams are disregarding the COVID-19 pandemic for supporting fans. This follows after multiple teams announced they’d host live televised matches with the upcoming “MLS is Back Tournament” with Drive-In Movie Theatres. Considered a classic form of American cinema, Major League Soccer Teams are hoping their supporters will attend & cheer on their favourite players. Those cheers will be televised directly to players in response to concerns regarding a lack of fan aware.
What isn’t being measured with these announcements is the lack of social distancing that’s been found at these Drive-In Movie Theatres. Moving forward with these temporary “Fan Drive-In Stadiums” will prompt outbreaks of COVID-19 around America. MLS isn’t entirely responsible for these epidemics of coronavirus, with civilians informed by the Centre of Disease Control & World Health Organization to continue their social distancing measures. In this scenario, that means remaining in the confines of your vehicle.
The 1st team to announce that their hosting Drive-In Televised Matches was “New England Revolution”, which is being maintained directly in the Parking Lot of Gillette Stadium. That’s where the New England Revolution have competed since their birth, prompting concern that Massachusetts will have additional infections from the fallout of this entertainment venue. MLS Representatives clarified that their demanding social distancing measures be followed, which has proven impossible for all sports leagues enforcing temporary restrictions.
Additional teams announcing Drive-In Televised Matches is the San Jose Earthquakes, and Chicago Fire FC. It’s firmly expected that supporters from opposing teams will arrive at these Parking Lots. This means that Cross-State Infections will be seen, which ultimately extends the length of COVID-19 throughout America. Under the current mindset seen towards this virus, millions won’t be safe until a vaccine is released.
Profit for Charity
Those wanting to attend these Drive-In Televised Matches will be required to pay out $40.00 for “Vehicle Ticket”. Funds generated from this entertainment venue are being donated to three charities by New England Revolution. That includes Special Olympics Massachusetts, National Association of Colored People, and the United Negro College Fund. Neither the San Jose Earthquakes nor College Fire FC has announced their profits to charities.
Manchester City was disgusted by the actions of Premier League supporters. Unknown individuals committed acts of racism by purchasing a light aircraft, which flew over Manchester City & the local football stadium. It read “White Lives Matter Burnley”, and was shown during the 1st football match that Manchester City had after returning from COVID-19 Postponement. Actions of intolerance have increased tenfold throughout the City Kingdom, with most disturbed but not shocked by the events that unfolded.
Those that committed this act weren’t supporters of Manchester United, with their origins relating to the Burnley Region. Supporters of Burnley Football Club specifically targeted this match, knowing it’d be seen by millions in the region & possibly billions worldwide. Their intolerant acts follow after the English Premier League condemned systemic racism. Moments before the plane flew over the Manchester City Football Stadium, players with both outfits were seen kneeling in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The “White Lives Matter Burnley” banner was then seen above the stadium moments later. It brought significant shame onto the Burnley region & saddened multiple footballers with African heritages.
Burnley FC’s Captain spoke with Sky Sports on the disgusting acts showcased by a small few. Ben Mee remarked his embarrassment & shame towards Burnley FC Supporters that decided to target the Black Lives Matter Movement with intolerant, racist acts. He’d then clarify that rumours in the Burnley region suggested that a small group was focusing on targeting the Manchester City match-up. Ben confirmed that Burnley FC tried their hardest to stop the intolerant acts before they unfolded but couldn’t locate anyone willing to testify against known suspects.
Punishment is Coming
It’s known that Lancashire Law Enforcement – Burnley Division, has prompted an investigation into those involved in this condemned act of racism. The Chief Superintendent of the Burnley Division remarked his confidence towards officers locating these individuals, who will then be arrested & put into prison for an unknown period. Individuals capable of meeting bail will be given another chance to commit this crime, with Burnley FC already anticipating that scenario & creating strategies to avoid any other intolerant crimes against communities of African descent.
The Premier League in its long-await return to action on Sunday saw Chelsea taking to the field against Aston-Villa hoping to secure a spot for finishing in the top four. After watching Aston Villa go into the lead, Chelsea managed to come from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1.
Chelsea was in control during the first half and looking promising, but a reality check was handed to them after Kepa Arrizabalaga failed to stop a pass from Anwar El Ghazi. That saw the forwards shot being picked up by Kortney Hause who was able to put it past the posts.
However, Chelsea managed to reorganize and turn the game around, scoring two goals in a matter of minutes. The first of their goals came as a result of substitute Christian Pulisic picking up and driving home a pass from Cesar Azpilicueta. The second, only minutes later came after Olivier Giroud put one in from 15 yards out to put Chelsea in the lead.
The win against Aston-Villa puts Chelsea once against five points ahead of Manchester United and the Wolverhampton Wanderers, who currently are in fifth and sixth. Meanwhile, Aston Villa will remain in the relegation zone with one safety point after they earned one point during their first two games after the return of the Premier League.
Chelsea/Aston-Villa Game Overview
The win over Aston-Villa was a big boost for Chelsea as they continue to hope for a top-four finish in the Premier League. The two late half goals by Pulisic and Giroud gave them the come-back they needed.
The result put Chelsea back in fourth with 51 points after thirty games. That places them with a five point lead over Manchester United, however for Aston-Villa, the loss means they remain at the bottom with 26 points and are close to being out of the safety zone. The reality was, Chelsea controlled the ball 76% of the opening half, but they missed multiple scoring opportunities, with Aston Villa’s goalkeeper, Oerjan Nyland denying them goals, once from Mason Mount and the other from Mateo Kovacic.
Whether Chelsea will manage to hold onto the fourth spot will depend on the outcome of the next few matches, but the odds are looking favourable. However, Chelsea will need to capitalize on scoring opportunities and not make the same type of mistakes they did in their game against Aston-Villa if they hope to see their goal realized.
Major League Soccer is allowing for their primary expansion team for 2020 to first compete during the “MLS is Back Tournament”. Inter Miami FC have been matched against Orlando City for July 8th, with their venue taking place in Florida at the Walt Disney World. It’s being hosted inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which follows after extensive delegations between both corporation divisions. Under their agreement, ESPN will have priority streaming and broadcasting rights behind this tournament. This is expected after MLS & ESPN have held a formidable partnership for 15+ years.
MLS Executives held a “Virtual Draw” for the MLS is Back Tournament, staging footballers into a tournament that’s formatted similar to the World Cup. Nobody was anticipating that Major League Soccer would announce a month-long tournament, which will make them the 2nd professional sporting league in North America to resume operations. The 1st will be the National Women’s Soccer League, which restarts on June 27th in Utah. It should be mentioned that other American sporting leagues are struggling to start operations during Post-COVID.
MLS is Back Tournament
Major League Soccer hasn’t experienced an official match since Mid-March 2020. Less than several days of professional soccer was played before organizers in the corporate division had to postpone their season. Millions have been lost subsequently, with MLS looking to recoup their losses immediately. Returning before the National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, or Major League Baseball will provide a significant advantage to MLS in recouping their losses.
Notable rivals are slated to compete during the MLS is Back Tournament. That include Toronto FC Vs. Montreal Impact for Eastern Division Supporters. The Western Division is showing the LA Galaxy Vs. LA Football Club rivalry. Both matches are expected to be some of the most action packed during the tournament. It should be mentioned that whoever wins this tournament is awarded $1.1 Million, with all teams seeing their earn points converted to the regular season. These conditions make playing during COVID-19 favorable for most coaching staff, which means it must be favorable for footballers.
Civilians worldwide are creating false mindsets that the novel coronavirus is over, believing that it won’t have a second wave in North America or the European Union. This wouldn’t be consistent with multiple countries that saw their cases rise a second time, including South Korea and Japan. Those believing the 2nd wave won’t return begun creating tributes for civilians lost to this virus. Victims in Spain are being honoured by La Liga, with a minute of silence being supported with every match going forward for the 2020 season.
This silence is minimal in comparison to the lives lost, with some Spanish Civilians remarking their disrespect towards the pandemic. Most athletes & coaching staff in La Liga are millionaires, meaning their finances wouldn’t dwindle to concerning levels before the epidemic concluded. This will be similar when the 2nd wave arrives, showing that the wealthy are permitted from avoiding multiple scenarios that’d see someone contract the novel coronavirus.
The announcement that La Liga would implement a minute of silence with every remaining match for 2020 was made through the Royal Spanish Football Federation. It was announced on May 7th, indicating in their revelation that amateur-based teams will also maintain this reflection period. It should be emphasised that Spain experienced an influx of COVID-19 cases, which followed after their neighbouring nation of Italy became an epidemic zone.
La Liga Punters haven’t competed for three months, with footballers announcing their eagerness to return. The 1st match is coming on May 11th between Sevilla and Real Betis. Two other football games are slated for the upcoming weekend, with Real Madrid returning on Sunday. Barcelona FC will see their first two hours of playtime on Saturday against Real Mallorca. All four teams have their supporters voicing their excitement to resumed play.
It should be mentioned that to accomplish this minute of silence; La Liga Execs had to engage in delegations with the Royal Spanish Football Federation. Multiple Spaniards mentioned their disappointment towards the RSFF for not immediately approving this request. However, both parties reached an agreement that doesn’t disrupt operations for the RSFF.
Major League Soccer shocked dedicated supporters of Atlanta United & Sporting Kansas City, with it being announced that these football clubs have been permitted to restart training. Small groups within these teams will be allowed to complete social distancing drills starting on June 1st. These two outfits are the first to receive approval for training resumption measures, prompting football critics to question when other clubs are permitted to resume training.
All MLS teams have been cleared to begin outdoor training after internal approval. The coaching staff must provide a valid social distancing plan to receive compliance approval, ensuring that Health & Safety Protocols recommended by the CDC are enacted. Training cannot begin until issuing these request forms, with consultation meetings being held afterwards with medical experts. Infectious disease experts will also provide advice to MLS football clubs.
Challenges await multiple clubs in Major League Soccer wanting to issue their request form. MLS Executives demand that protection measures be based on local public health policies & national public health legislation. This could create multiple logistical challenges for clubs like TFC, with Canada not permitting social events until August 1st or later. It’s unknown how Major League Soccer will approach training with Canadian teams, potentially allowing for footballers to train within their home facilities until team practice is nationally permitted.
May 31st marked the date that Atlanta United confirmed their approval status to resume training. They’ll immediately begin training on June 1st at the Atlanta Children’s Healthcare Training Ground. This follows after coaching staff informed footballers to complete voluntary individual workouts, which started on May 6th. It’ll be interesting to see how footballers have adapted to solitary training during COVID-19.
Sporting Kansas City
Coaching staff with Sporting Kansas City made their approval status announcement on May 31st. Similar to Atlanta United, they’ll resume training by June 1st. Their training sessions are being held at the Compass Minerals National performance Centre. It should be mentioned that footballers, team personnel, and coaching staff must be tested for COVID-19 before entering this facility. Certain infections will prompt immediate hospital transport.